Sankul offers technical service to NGOs, CSR wing of corporates and like-minded agencies to design, implement and monitor programs aimed at helping the community address all issues of basic necessities comprehensively through their own efforts. The group lays a great deal of emphasis on convergence with government programs, working with similar minded organizations and piloting socially responsible interventions.
Sankul follows a participatory identification of poor, whereby the poor are allowed to identify/ represent themselves in an open forum. A World Bank supported project in Tamilnadu (PVP) has successfully implemented a near perfect participatory identification of poor.
More than 85% of Sankul’s funding is invested into training and capacity building of the poor, the implementers and the stakeholders. The SHGs are trained to meet regularly, to save regularly, to inter loan regularly, to repay loan regularly and finally keep record of their dealings through minute book and books of accounts.
Formation of SHGs and their initiation into Panch Sutra – regular meeting, regular saving, regular inter-loaning, regular repayment, and proper maintenance of books of account – prepares them as bankable clients for the mainstream banking. The poor can then leverage their meager saving up to 10 – 12 times through credit from banks. The SHGs are trained in not only saving, inter-loaning and repayment, but also micro planning for their family, or micro credit planning for borrowing from banks.
Entire journey of the poor has traditionally been to move towards sustainable livelihood. Livelihoods require very strong training and capacity building exercise and a basket of options. It requires first creation of an entire eco system whereby livelihood would be a natural progression. Sankul’s aim is to capacitate the poor to such an extent that they themselves decide on their livelihoods. In collaboration with industry partners, multiple livelihood options are created for the poor covering farm (agriculture, poultry, milch animal etc.), non-farm livelihood, wage employment or self employment. Forward and backward linkages to market are facilitated in convergence with government schemes.
After completing the above steps, the SHGs are now ready to think beyond narrow self interest and concentrate on common good. Mature groups are trained to tackle social issues, gender issues, health and sanitation issues, food security issues etc. This helps facilitate the poor to access their entitlements and benefits under various schemes e.g. bank loans and interest subvention, pension, disability benefit, health coverage etc. This also compels the responsible agencies to deliver quality services. Further, this step helps sensitize the mature groups to social ills and build their capacities to fight them.
The poor are extremely vulnerable to sudden shocks and keep getting into poverty cycle unless protected through a safety net. The aim of this step is to create awareness and to ensure health/ life insurance, quality of life, children welfare, protection against old age, diseases etc.
Sankul is currently implementing the model by itself in a pilot block for demonstration purposes. Accordingly, they have partnered with Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM) to create a model block at Hathin where around 83 villages are proposed to be brought out of poverty through the process of social mobilization, institution building, bank linkage, multiple livelihoods, social development and poverty proofing mechanisms over a period of three- four years.